So you’ve eaten and drank all the things, and are currently questioning your life choices. What’s particularly rough about this year’s Independence Day holiday is that it fell on a Thursday. So maybe you’ve got leftovers today and you’re thinking ‘Well these can’t go to waste, so I might as well eat them up.’ And then the weekend rolls around, and doesn’t everyone cheat on the weekend… because WEEKEND. So you continue to eat all manner of fried and slathered you-name-it… and suddenly it’s Sunday night and you feel AWFUL and vow to get back on track on Monday…. maybe.
Post celebration blues are natural, so don’t beat yourself up! When we’re distracted by party favors and people and fireworks, it’s easy to lose track of what and how much we’re putting into our bodies at any given moment. Before you know it, more things have passed your lips than you ever planned on, and you’re a first class passenger on the ‘shame train’ and headed full speed to the pit of post-food depression.
You’re human, and no one does 100% of anything 100% of the time. You’re okay. You indulged, and now it’s the day after, and you’re still okay. The best way to keep from sliding into a binge-fest of depression is to assess where you are right now, and move forward from that place. How do you feel right now? Are you fatigued? Bloated? Hungry? Yes, hungry. Sometimes if we eat too much (especially close to bedtime), our bodies spend so much time trying to digest that food that we wake up hungry (but still bloated) all over again. It can feel like your body is working against you. It’s not. It’s simply trying to work with what you’ve fed it, and make the best of it.
There’s a good chance that whatever happened during your celebration consumption, it can be addressed (not rectified) with a good dose of hydration. On a most basic level, that means filling up your water bottle and sipping (not gulping) it throughout the day. Refill it as much as you can. Hydrating will help your body better process the food you’ve eaten, and help you make sound decisions about whatever food you decide to eat next. In more complex fashion, that could mean choosing water foods that help you feel full, and keep your insides hydrated enough to move through whatever you filled your body with the day before.
GIVE AWAY THE LEFTOVERS.
We know you don’t want to. But it will not serve you to continue to consume the very things that led to this very predictable feeling of greasy discomfort in the first place. If you visited someone and were so deep in the frenzy that you took home a plate (or two), pay it forward. If you hosted the event, pack up the leftovers in disposable containers and offer them to guests, co-workers, friends, family, or the person that you know could use a filling meal because their life may not be as physically abundant as yours.
MOVE WITH PURPOSE.
It’s natural to want to overcompensate in the next workout to make up for your food choices. That’s a great way to set yourself up for injury. Instead, plot out the most effective movements to get your heart rate going and trigger the water-weight (because you didn’t gain a whole bunch of fat overnight) shedding mechanism. Sweat it out safely and effectively. Just like the quality of your calories matter… so does the quality of your movement. You can still get an effective workout without tearing up your muscles and joints out of guilt.
Remember that a single sidestep is not a reason to derail the whole wellness train. One bad meal won’t make you unwell, just like one good meal won’t magically make you well. As you continue to seek balance in all things, understand that it’s okay to lose sight of things for a little bit… as long as you are able to quickly and effectively find yourself again.